Author Archives: nathan


NeoDroid Android Neo Geo Emulator

NeoDroid Download

Having recently purchased a low cost Chinese Android Jelly Bean based handheld console for emulation,  the JXD s7300. I decided it was high time to investigate which is the best Neo Geo emulator currently available for the Android platform, after testing I found NeoDroid is excellent running at a very playable near full speed on the JXD s7300.

A couple of tips I discovered is to select and enable ‘Use ASM Cores’ then the majority of games I tested played at full speed, also turning on ‘autoframeskip’ and setting the sample rate to ‘44100’ also improved the overall emulation experience. If you load a ROM and it has broken sound just end emulation by pressing the L2 button then selecting the on screen cross in the right hand corner of the screen and restart the specific ROM again.

NeoDroid allows for simple mapping of the JXD s7300 hardware buttons and joysticks for a better overall emulation experience. Just launch NeoDroid and click on the settings icon, select the ‘Use hardware buttons’ option, then select ‘Set hardware buttons’ then just map your buttons either as below or to your own settings.

pad_up DPAD UP
pad_down DPAD DOWN
pad_left DPAD LEFT
pad_right DPAD RIGHT
pad_1 BUTTON Y
pad_2 BUTTON X
pad_3 BUTTON B
pad_4 BUTTON A
pad_5 BUTTON L1
pad_6 BUTTON R1
pad_start START
pad_coins SELECT
pad_menu BUTTON R2
pad_switch BUTTON L2

Download NeoDroid Android APKs:
Libgngeo 1.2 : Download libgngeo-1.2 APK
NeoDroid 2.0 : Download neodroid-2.0 APK

Description:

NeoDroid is a Neo Geo MVS emulator for Android. Allowing you to play your favorite Neo Geo games like King of Fighters, Metal Slug, Puzzle Bobble, Fatal Fury and many more on your Android device.

– Put bios (neogeo.zip) in your ROMs directory (“/mnt/sdcard/neodroid/roms”)
– Put roms in your ROMs directory (“/mnt/sdcard/neodroid/roms”)
– Compatible with MAME ROMs format
– Run at full speed on 1 Ghz+ devices
– Compatibility same as the GnGeo version 0.8 emulator

Changelog:

2.0
====
– Fix force close on ICS devices
– Updated to latest gngeo sources ( rev. 6ad2a3d1bba3 )
1.9
====
– Fix library download problem on froyo devices
1.8
====
– Splitted in two package: neodroid and gngeolibs
– Added save/load state support
– Added a compatibility list with roms links search (search button)
– A sound problem fixed, the emulator “should” not hang anymore on the NeoGeo logo
– No restart on exit emulation anymore, exiting the emulation will bring back the rom selection list
– Should again fix a problem with the screen aspect ratio (ex. Garou Mark of the Wolves)
– Added progress bar on roms loading
– Problem when using “home” system have the bios file “aes-bios.bin” in your neogeo.zip
– Added z80 and 68k overlock in preferences (improve neogeo framerate on games like metal slug)
– Fix child roms not working (metal slug 4 plus, Puzzle De Pon! R!)
– Emulation will now pause when in-game menu is showing
– Custom application theme
– Add screenshot preview when touching a rom icon
1.6
====
– fix Breakers Revenge (breakrev.zip) not added to compatibility list
– fix some wrong aspect ratio
1.5
====
– fix a bug preventing the use of “uni-bios.rom” bios system.
– fix “menu” button blinking when using hardware controller.
– improve controls code again, this also improve famerate.
– prevent launching of incompatible roms (based on roms names).
– TODO: save/load states in the works!
1.4
====
– Finally, a major problem is fixed in the new rendering code
1.3
====
– Add the possibility to enable/disable arm asm specific cores
– Transparency now also applied to analog stick
– On screen controller can be analog or digital (preferences screen)
– Vibrations can now be disabled (preferences screen)
– Add the possibility to assign the BACK hardware button (should fix xperia play problem)
– Roms compatibility list and screenshots almost done
– Add more information to crash report
1.2
====
– added bug report by mail, please use the “mail” icon to report crash
– add compatibility list to roms (default color = working, yellow = problem, red = non working)
– begin to add screenshot previews icons
1.1
====
– new and improved on screen controls
– new effects engine (press back in game to bring the menu)
– added 3 new scale mode : original, fit screen, full screen (press back in game to bring the menu)
– improved speed up to 100% on large screen when using the new effect engine
– added hardware buttons mapping in preferences, should work with xperia play and more

Avoid Buying Bootleg Neo Geo MVS Cartridge

Genuine MVS Cartridge

With the ever rising cost of the Neo Geo MVS carts these are more increasingly subject to being bootlegged, many collectors could be being duped by sellers usually on eBay looking to cash in on the collectable value of some of the increasingly rarer MVS carts. Externally it can be impossible to tell if the cart is genuine or bootlegged, internally is a different matter.

Are bootleg carts a serious issue? The question really depends upon if you are collector of MVS carts if you are then the answer is yes. A collector will be looking for from purchase a genuine cartridge label, original plastic casing, genuine printed circuit boards and original mask ROMs. In essence a collector is looking for the 100% authentic game play experience only an original cart is guaranteed to provide.

However if you are not an  MVS cartridge collector bootlegs give you an opportunity to grab a specific game you really want to play at a lower market price than its original counterpart. The only other potential  downside to bootlegs are some of the cartridges can suffer from bad ROM dumps and exhibit graphic and or sound glitches, some bootleg carts on the other hand can be perfectly fine with no game play issues.

Sadly bootleg carts did play a part in the demise of SNK’s Neo Geo MVS arcade system, this coupled with high hardware manufacturing costs and high sales prices for systems spelled the end for the MVS. The Neo Geo MVS was hugely popular in the 1990’s with arcade operators due to the systems ease of use and multi cart design, allowing for up to 6 different game carts in one arcade cabinet.  The MVS machines success and a 14 year reign as top dog in the arcades lead to large amounts of bootlegging, and thus high volumes of lost cartridge sales revenue for SNK.

Luckily due to great online resources it is easy to verify if your MVS cartridges are bootlegs or genuine. You will need a cross head screwdriver to dismantle the cartridge, all you need to do is undo the 4 cross head screws holding the two halves of the shell together, located in the 4 holes in the picture below.

MVS Cartridge Screw Holes

Once you have removed the 4 screws, you can very carefully hinge open the cartridge remember do not pull the two shells apart as the cartridge label will be creased or worse torn, you will want to keep this intact. You can then remove and slide out the two PCBs, they are easily removed with some careful effort, patience is the key no need to rush.

MVS Cartridge PCB
Firstly check that both PCBs are marked ‘SNK’ or ‘SNK Playmore’ as seen in the above picture if this is not present the PCBs are bootlegs. Once the shell is removed you can easily see the individual chips (Mask ROMs) on each board, these will have numbers printed on them which relate to the Neo Geo game number or NGH number, take a look at the Neo Geo Master List, this will show which number should be present on your chips, in this example Super Sidekicks II is 061 all the chips on both of my boards are marked 061 therefore I know with a good degree of certainty the EPROMS are original.

MVS Cartridge PCB 2

Next it is time to take a visit to Neo Geo MVS Scans and compare the scans posted of the PCB’s with your PCB’s. If your boards are a little different they may just be SNK repaired boards, or possibly a different variant of the board, if that is the case feel free to submit your images of the boards to the site. However if your PCB’s look nothing like the boards shown it will be a bootleg PCB.

Let me offer a few additional pointers to check over when assessing a cart:

  • Check the cart label, if the label does not look right, it has probably been replaced this is not always a disaster as the rest of the cart may well be original. Labels can be checked on the MVS Scans site.
  •  If nearly all of the EPROMs on the PCBs are windowed EPROMs it increases the possibility your chips are bootlegs. Official MVS cartridges also used windowed EPROMs these we used as last minute patches for the game code, expect only a small number of windowed EPROMs on the board, not every chip as is common with bootlegs.
  • Check the quality of the soldering on chips, original boards are wave soldered, excessive flux residue or obvious hand soldered chip pins usually point towards a bootleg.

I hope my guide offers at least some pointers and useful assistance in ensuring your collection of MVS cartridges is genuine.

OUYA First Gameplay Video Roasty Rooster

Many have been anxious and a little hesitant over the performance of the OUYA console and it’s ability to deliver upon its pledged Kickstarter promises, this video shows one of the developer OUYA consoles in the wild running a game called Roasty Rooster.

Considering this is an early developments game, the performance seems solid with only a couple of on screen visual slowdowns, this video demonstrates to the early OUYA community its ability to perform and hopefully deliver in March 2013.

Neo Geo MVS Service Manuals

Neo Geo MVS Manuals PDF Download

The Neo Geo MVS board purchased recently sadly was not proivided with the service manual, so embarking upon an internet information quest to locate one began, my efforts so far have drawn a blank in locating the specific MV-1FS service manual however my assumption is the manual will be similar to the MV-1F service manual.

To assist all other future consolized Neo Geo MVS builders I have included links below to all the Neo Geo MVS Slot 1 service manuals so far found, these are in PDF format for easy reading and downloading. So if you are looking for circuit diagrams or DIP switch settings enjoy!

Update: I have been informed the MV-1FS is a Spanish variant of the MV-1F where the ‘S’ designates the board was destined for the Spanish arcades.